Written by Hannah Dunleavy


Cowboy Builders

Hannah Dunleavy talks the machinations, revelations and unnecessary discombobulations of episode seven of Westworld. CONTAINS SPOILERS.

That went downhill fast: Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and Bernard (Jeffrey Wright). Photos: HBO.

That went downhill fast: Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen). Photos: HBO.

“I thought I could trust you, for instance.”

Well, well, well, who’d have thunk it? I do sort of know what’s going on in Westworld and Bernard Lowe is, as I suspected, a host. Albeit one with a rather unnecessarily unpleasant backstory. Although, perhaps that’s…. no wait, more on that later.

Oh yes, the second that Lowe couldn’t see the door; I did a celebratory cheer. And even though the revelation ended in the horrific bludgeoning to death of Cullen by her former lover, I can’t deny it’s somewhat jump-started my interest, which had been waning, largely as Westworld is increasingly dystopian without a dystopia to give us a frame of reference.

I know I’m supposed to be excited by the endless possibilities that open up now, regarding the ‘realness’ of any of the ‘humans’ we’ve met so far, but fuck it, I UNDERSTOOD SOMETHING. That’s enough for me.

“I can finally see the benefit of casting Anthony Hopkins. If Ford is going to be ‘a monster’, then there’s no one better for the job.”

Quite a lot of what’s been going on in the last two episodes have been something and nothing anyway; all that stuff with the board and the tech seem to have been as much a fucking distraction as Hector was a distraction to fuck. (Seriously though, Hale, like Sizemore, the tosser that whizzed everywhere last week, seems to be straight off The Apprentice production line. She even said, “You’re fired!” this week. If this is what people are like in ‘the real world’, I might reassess my statement that I would never go to Westworld.)

What Cullen’s death means for the plot could be speculated on forever (well, until next week anyway). See also the still-missing status of Elsie Hughes. Is there a host Cullen waiting to take her place? Is Elsie a robot too? Is the reason Ford answered “that’s Arnold” to Bernard’s question about the photo on his desk because Arnold is actually in the picture but Bernard can’t see him because he “wouldn’t understand” because they look exactly the same?

Sorry, I went a little mad with assumed power there. But what if…

What I can say for certain this week is that I can finally see the benefit of casting Anthony Hopkins. If Ford is going to be ‘a monster’, then there’s no one better for the job.

Meanwhile, over at the Weird Science lab

Felix and friends continue to get their arses kicked metaphorically (as well as a threat to get their arses kicked literally) by Maeve. I was going to have a week off singing Thandie Newton’s praises, but I just couldn’t. Because of that little speech she gave about not fearing death and because of the terrible sadness of her witnessing The Needless Discombobulation of Clementine Pennyfeather, which should be the name of a country song. If it isn’t already.

“If I had to do it all again, I’d fuck you both over twice as hard.”

He’s got a way with words, that Lawrence. For once, the least interesting stuff was going on outside, with Dolores and her current beau William – who seems to have thrown himself into this holiday with such gusto, he’ll be carrying a straw donkey by the end of it – getting frisky on a train.

Despite having a fair whack of action, this third of the episode was bogged down in the ‘relationship’ between the two of them, something I care less about than almost anything except that Sizemore twat.

Dolores is clearly a blank canvas upon which men paint a personality, but it really doesn’t make for the most interesting of characters. And, let’s face it, holiday romances are only really interesting for the people in them.

The whereabouts of William’s original travelling companion, Logan the Bell End, is also unknown, which given, like Elsie, the last time we saw him he was in the box marked ‘peril’, is dragging it out a little for me.

Other things

This week’s episode was called – for obvious reasons – ‘Trompe L’Oeil’, something I now, thanks to The Sopranos, can only pronounce like Little Carmine.

No Man in Black or Not So Cuddly Teddy this week. And still no Armistice. Come on now, Westworld, sort it out.

How is it that the baddies can open fire on the train and know for certain that they would not kill any human on it?

Catch up on previous Westworld happenings here.


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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.